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Author Topic: AMENDMENT 8 -- Californians' attempt to restore the meaning of marriage
Everard
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In the lexington school in question, every year the school makes available a "diversity book bag," to kindergartners. Contents available here.

This program is optional, and everything available in the book bag is available in the school library. Its also worth noting that notification was sent home in september about when Parker's child would be bringing the bag home, and the contents displayed in the library. parents are given the option of not participating in the diversity book bag program.

David Parker was demanding that the school remove his child from any discussion that arrises concerning homosexuality, even if spontaneously. Massachusetts law says parents may opt their child out of curriculum that primarily involves sexuality or sex education. In other words, it does not allow parents to opt their children out of non-curriculum discussions of sexuality, which is what "spontaneously," means, nor does it allow parents to opt their children out of discussions children have amongst themselves, which were part of parker's demands.

About 2 1/2 hours after the final meeting between adminstrators and parker, the police were called becuse he refused to leave school grounds. His wife left, he didn't. A detective arrived about 40 minutes later. 30 minutes later, he was arrested. The sole reason for the arrest was failure to leave school grounds. Parker said "If I'm not under arrest, I'm not leaving."

As far as massachusetts law goes, parents have a right to opt out of curriculum dealing primarily with sexuality. They don't have a right to opt out of tolerance programs. None of the material in question was about anything other then family structure.

You can disagree with the law if you want, and say parents should be able to opt out of any program they want. But that law isn't on the books in massachusetts, and the law about opting out was written prior to SSM being legal here.

[ November 10, 2008, 09:13 AM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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jimskater
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I don't know where you get "past" grievance from, Hitoshi. Clue in: Ricky is spewing falsehoods about my beliefs and motives and the beliefs and motives of others right here on this thread and that's precisely what I'm responding to here.

"Ricky posted something to help keep jim in good spirits because of how this personally affects him -- something I doubt you have an objection to"

The key is what the "something" is, Hitoshi. Ricky parrotted one of his falsehoods about what SSM opponents believe. If I pretended to comfort Jim by telling him that you were a large drooling vampire, I think that you'd have reason to be offended. Think harder, and get back to me.

I don't share your motive inference; unlike you, I don't assume that Ricky's true purpose was to keep jim in good spirits. Gay couples and their families are just human shields in this whole conflict; ultimately the conflict is not really about them.

Pete,

Give me & Ricky a little credit. I did assume that Ricky's true purpose was to comfort me. I also assumed that whatever inference Ricky was making was not directed at you. Rather, I felt that his comments re: 1962 were directed at those who won't even engage in the discussion, or take the opportunity to listen to the other side.

To be perfectly clear, I'm not a "human shield." I got involved in the CA conflict over SSM with my eyes wide open.

I'm trying really hard not to infer a motive to the last phrase of your post, Pete. From my perspective, as one of the thousands of couples who were legally married between June 17 and Nov. 14, the conflict is all about "them." Especially when the other side is talking about trying to take away those marriages.

=====

Edited to add "re: 1962" to clarify that what I thought when I first read Ricky's post.

[ November 10, 2008, 09:26 AM: Message edited by: jimskater ]

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jimskater
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To be perfectly clear where I'm coming from:

I saw Ricky's original post as a reaction to my post regarding a another Yes on 8 proponent stating he was coming after the SSMs that had already been performed. Further, from my perspective, I thought Ricky's analogy was spot on.

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cb
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quote:

Originally posted by KidB:
Again, there is a very big difference between who can walk in the door, and what you hear once you're in there. I've never heard of a democratic government dictating what the church can teach as right or wrong, or when it can or cannot perform certain religious rites.

1862 July 8, Morrill Anti-Bigamy Law, signed by Abraham Lincoln.
First basic federal legislation by the Congress of the United States that was designed "to punish and prevent the practice of polygamy in the Territories of the United States".
Bigamy punishable by a $500 fine and imprisonment not exceeding five years.
All acts passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah "pertaining to polygamy and spiritual marriage" were annulled.
A limit of $50,000 of real property that a religious or charitable organization could hold in a territory of the United States.
Any amount exceeding the value of $50,000 was to be forfeited and escheated to the United States."

Utah was told in no uncertain terms that they should stop the religious ceremony of plural marriage or rights as a state would be curtailed. Government dictating to religions what they can and can't practice has occurred and is well on the way to occurring again.

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Everard
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The history of the mormon church with marriage and the US government is one of the reasons its so sad that mormons are on the side they are, with regards to SSM.
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Hitoshi
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I don't know where you get "past" grievance from, Hitoshi. Clue in: Ricky is spewing falsehoods about my beliefs and motives and the beliefs and motives of others right here on this thread and that's precisely what I'm responding to here.

"Back before he started doing that, we used to have conversations. [...] Now it's like talking to one of those freaks who buys into everything his pastor tells him that Mormons believe."

The juxtaposition of how you two used to talk and your (negative and personal) characterization of him today is what, in my mind, made it seem like it dealt with issues from the past. Unless someone turned a switch on to suddenly make him radically change, a series of confrontations and arguments must have happened, and I would file that under "past grievances." And since I do not see any direct negative attacks in that specific post, it seems to me as though it must have come from earlier. That's simply how I view it, though.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
The key is what the "something" is, Hitoshi. Ricky parrotted one of his falsehoods about what SSM opponents believe. If I pretended to comfort Jim by telling him that you were a large drooling vampire, I think that you'd have reason to be offended. Think harder, and get back to me.

Please point out and explain to me, specifically, what falsehood Ricky is "parroting" in the quoted text. I don't see it, but if it is indeed there, I would like to know.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
I don't share your motive inference; unlike you, I don't assume that Ricky's true purpose was to keep jim in good spirits. Gay couples and their families are just human shields in this whole conflict; ultimately the conflict is not really about them.

And why do you not assume that? Please give specifics; unlike you, I attempt to assume the best until I am proven otherwise.

[ November 10, 2008, 11:39 AM: Message edited by: Hitoshi ]

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cb
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
The history of the mormon church with marriage and the US government is one of the reasons its so sad that mormons are on the side they are, with regards to SSM.

Quite the opposite. LDS history is what causes members to recognize the heavy hand of government coming to bear once again. The courts (especially those in California) are at this point, the exclusive playground of activists who wish to inculcate liberal agenda into the cloth of our society. It is as Jefferson said, "...the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch." Despotism must be fought at every turn, and so we fight.

[ November 10, 2008, 12:20 PM: Message edited by: cb ]

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Everard
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"Quite the opposite. LDS history is what causes members to recognize the heavy hand of government coming to bear once again."

*shrug* You were oppressed by the government for practicing marriage differently, and now you're voting to oppress a group seeking to practice marriage differently.

Its fine if you want to justify that based on some "heavy hand of government coming to bear," but you are USING the heavy hand of government against people right now.

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cb
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quote:


Its fine if you want to justify that based on some "heavy hand of government coming to bear," but you are USING the heavy hand of government against people right now. [/QB]

It was individual citizens of America who called, donated and informed (you would say lied but that is perception) their neighbors and friends about Prop 8. The leaders of their prospective churches didn't threaten any of their members with excommunication if they didn't support Prop 8, they simply explained the dangers and asked the members to get involved.
With the polygamy issue, the Federal government passed a law aimed at one group of people specifically because of a religious tenant. That is truly heavy handed. Tell me you aren’t truly comparing the two.

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Everard
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"With the polygamy issue, the Federal government passed a law aimed at one group of people specifically because of a religious tenant. That is truly heavy handed. Tell me you aren’t truly comparing the two."

Umm. Aside from, in this case, california vs federal government... its pretty much identical. The california voters just passed a law aimed at one group of people specifically because of a religious tenet, and outright bigotry.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
I did assume that Ricky's true purpose was to comfort me. I also assumed that whatever inference Ricky was making was not directed at you.
Given what Ricky said subsequently, it's clear that you assumed incorrectly. What he said was a smear against me and mine, and I'm sorry if you find those smears more comforting than my legal analysis (which the CA state attorney apparently agrees with) that your specific status is protected by the United States Constitution.
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TomDavidson
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Perhaps Jim isn't selfish enough to only care about his own marriage...?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
They don't have a right to opt out of tolerance programs. None of the material in question was about anything other then family structure.

What Everard says is false. While the book did address family structure, it didn't stop there. The book could simply have shown that the girl had two mommies, but instead, emphasized that the mommies were "lesbian." I don't think that teaching five year olds about sexuality is appropriate, and the obvious intent of the MA statute was to give parents have every right to take their kids out of anything that leads there.

Furthermore, the dad wasn't just arrested, he was given a restraining order that extended so far from the school grounds that he could no longer pick his own child up at school. That was vindictive and sadistic.

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DonaldD
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"vindictive and sadistic" - hyperbole much? The guy used his access to the school premises as an opportunity to break the law - there was every reason to believe that he would continue to use the school premises in such a manner if given another opportunity.

I know, I know, teachers and school administrators don't deserve a safe and healthy work environment, and neither are the students owed the same...

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Pete at Home
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Don't be obtuse, Donald. They could have made an order that simply kept him off the premises. They didn't have to put him 100 yards off the premises, preventing him from picking his own kid up from school.

And there's no indication that this guy was a threat to anyone. He just wanted to speak to the principal, who made an appointment to see him, and then refused to see him when he showed up. They set him up.

[ November 10, 2008, 01:13 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Paladine
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quote:
What he said was a smear against me and mine, and I'm sorry if you find those smears more comforting than my legal analysis (which the CA state attorney apparently agrees with) that your specific status is protected by the United States Constitution.
What part of the US Constitution specifically, Pete? I haven't made up my mind as to what the legally correct decision would be with regard to the relationships already recognized by the state, so I'd very much like to hear where you're coming from on this one.
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Pete at Home
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5th and 14th Amendment. Courts have construed legal status as a type of "property" that can't be taken away without process and due compensation.
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Paladine
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That seems like a stretch to me. I can buy status being private property, but I don't see how this can be seen as it being taken for public use. Most importantly, it seems to me that a civil union constitutes "just compensation". Why am I wrong? And what does the 14th amendment have to do with anything?
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Pete at Home
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Due process clause of the 14th amendment makes that part of the 5th amendment binding on the states, otherwise it would apply only to the fed.
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hobsen
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Thanks for the information on the David Parker case in Lexington, MA. That community is famous as the site of the first engagement of the American Revolutionary War. Now it is occupied by residents who are typically extremely liberal, highly educated and make lots of money. Probably that includes a fair proportion of gay professional couples, some of whom have children. The idea that Parker could live in that community and send his children to a public school without their ever hearing anything about homosexuality from other children, other parents or teachers is simply impossible. That is like a parent choosing to live in a Utah community which is 75% Mormon and asking that his children attend the public school without ever hearing anything about the LDS Church. Or choosing to live in South Boston, which is so heavily Irish that some of the street signs are in English and Gaelic, without ever hearing about Ireland.

Otherwise Pete at Home seems to have been getting along well enough with jimskater, so others might try to stay out of that. But I would like to see a link regarding Jim's "another Yes on 8 proponent stating he was coming after the SSMs that had already been performed." That is NOT coming, I am almost sure, from ProtectMarriage or the main organizations supporting it. Yes, they would probably like to annul existing marriages; but they think that would turn public opinion against them, and threaten the success of their legal cases. But they cannot control all the enthusiasts among their supporters, any more than the No-on-8 crowd can muzzle San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom with his naked political ambition and tendency to gloat over gay rights successes, even if that gets them unfavorable publicity. So it was inevitable someone was going to find some pretext to challenge existing marriages; and I should like to know who and where, although those challengers will probably be deploying inferior legal talent to take on the Attorney General of California before courts highly sympathetic to same sex marriage. That strikes me as a losing strategy, but I have no moral objection to people on the wrong side making foolish choices.

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DonaldD
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Pete, do you realize how silly it is to claim that those 100 yards actually keep him from picking up his child after school?

And yes, a man who has refused to leave a school until he's been arrested falls under the "too risky to have around people he disagrees with" category. It is certainly not unreasonable to worry that someone who feels strongly enough about his kid's teachers' activities that he would break the law might, you know, break the law again when re-encountering those same teachers.

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Pete at Home
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but when the CA gang of four made their ruling, existing same sex partnerships weren't converted by the decree into "marriages." The couples had to go down, pay for and get a marriage license, etc.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Pete, do you realize how silly it is to claim that those 100 yards actually keep him from picking up his child after school?


Do you realize how stupid it is to assume that a kindergarden kid can safely cross a busy street by himself because his dad can't get within 100 yards of the school?
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Pete at Home
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"And yes, a man who has refused to leave a school until he's been arrested falls under the "too risky to have around people he disagrees with" category. It is certainly not unreasonable to worry that someone who feels strongly enough about his kid's teachers' activities that he would break the law might, you know, break the law again when re-encountering those same teachers."

Would you apply that totalitarian logic to other forms of civil disobedience (I won't leave until you arrest me) where the actor was leftist?

The guy thought he was in the right legally. At worst this is civil disobedience. Bring on the law, but don't be a sadistic ass about it, or harm his child in retaliation.

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Everard
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"I don't think that teaching five year olds about sexuality is appropriate, and the obvious intent of the MA statute was to give parents have every right to take their kids out of anything that leads there."

This is only the obvious intent of the MA statute if one doesn't read the statute.

"While the book did address family structure, it didn't stop there. The book could simply have shown that the girl had two mommies, but instead, emphasized that the mommies were "lesbian.""

Umm, emphasized? Does it even use the word? I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

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Pete at Home
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"That is like a parent choosing to live in a Utah community which is 75% Mormon and asking that his children attend the public school without ever hearing anything about the LDS Church."

Good analogy, hobesen. But if this guy was living in Utah, and his kindergarden kid was reading "tolerance" material about "family structure" that talked about a little girl and her "latter day saint" parents who are "married for eternity," in school sponsored material handed out to kindergardeners, then I'd bring the lawsuit myself on his behalf. That's not appropriate. Particularly if there was a specific statute on point saying that schools should discuss religion without parents' permission.

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Pete at Home
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"Does it even use the word?"

Yes. "Lesbian." I'd have no beef it they'd just said mommies.

"I'm pretty sure it doesn't."

Well, you're wrong. Why don't you look it up and admit you were wrong? (that's a happy fantasy [Big Grin] )

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cb
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
"With the polygamy issue, the Federal government passed a law aimed at one group of people specifically because of a religious tenant. That is truly heavy handed. Tell me you aren’t truly comparing the two."

Umm. Aside from, in this case, california vs federal government... its pretty much identical. The california voters just passed a law aimed at one group of people specifically because of a religious tenet, and outright bigotry.

You keep getting "California" and the citizens of a free state mixed up. You honestly can't see the difference between a free election where citizen express their preferences to the federal government outlawing a religous practice?!? Come on.
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Everard
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"Well, you're wrong. Why don't you look it up and admit you were wrong?"

I tried looking it up. Could not find the full text of the book online, instead looked at sites that devote attention to this issue, and take Parker's side, and found no mention of the word "lesbian" as being in the text on 4 different sites.

If you'd care to find something that I can look at that demonstrates I'm wrong, I'll happily admit it. Then we can argue about whether using the word, in whatever context its used in the book, is discussing sexuality.

Until that point, having examined the text that people have found objectionable, and not having seen the word "lesbain," in any of the objectionable text, I'm going to assume its not there, and consider the question of appropriateness as not worth my time.

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DonaldD
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Why assume (idiotically [Smile] ) that he has to cross the street, that it is a busy one at that, that the father even picks up his kid himself?

Estabrook School is on a residential street, and the secondary entrance is actually a cul de sac ending at the school. No crossing of busy streets required.

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cb
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
"That is like a parent choosing to live in a Utah community which is 75% Mormon and asking that his children attend the public school without ever hearing anything about the LDS Church."

Good analogy, hobesen. But if this guy was living in Utah, and his kindergarden kid was reading "tolerance" material about "family structure" that talked about a little girl and her "latter day saint" parents who are "married for eternity," in school sponsored material handed out to kindergardeners, then I'd bring the lawsuit myself on his behalf. That's not appropriate. Particularly if there was a specific statute on point saying that schools should discuss religion without parents' permission.

Pete, you're doing a great job countering these arguements. You are saying all I wish I had the time to stay on line to say. Thanks for being there.
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scifibum
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Well, personally i can see how a hundred yards would make it pretty difficult to pick up your kid compared to being able to wait on the premises. It seems punitive to me. (I'm not sure whether the restriction is appropriate or not, but if the only goal is to keep the guy out of the school building then I agree with Pete that the 100 yard restriction seems wrong.)

[ November 10, 2008, 01:45 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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DonaldD
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There's a difference between the restraining order being wrong (which can be debated) and sadistic (which requires one to be a mind reader.)

There are rational reasons in support of and in opposition to the order. Because of that, immediately jumping onto the hyperbole express seems unneccessary.

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Paladine
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quote:
Due process clause of the 14th amendment makes that part of the 5th amendment binding on the states, otherwise it would apply only to the fed.
This 5th Amendment argument still seems pretty specious to me. Isn't a big part of your position that civil unions are substantively comparable to marriage? If so, then why don't they constitute "just compensation" under the 5th amendment? Also, how does prop 8 constitute "private property" being taken for "public use"?

You might have a little more luck arguing that application of prop 8 to relationships currently recognized as marriage constitutes ex post facto law, but it looks to me like Smith v. Doe might put a bit of a damper on that argument.

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hobsen
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Paladine, you may know more about the law than I do. But I turned up a statement on a popular legal site, which nobody challenged, saying the ex post facto limitation applied only to criminal prosecutions. So I assumed, maybe wrongly, that it would not apply to SSM. Otherwise it would indeed seem to apply to annulling marriages which were initially valid.

Edited to be I hope more precise.

[ November 10, 2008, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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Paladine
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Right, that's essentially what was held in the case I cited. Alaska passed a law requiring sex offenders to register, and applied this retroactively to people who had previously been convicted of sex offenses. The offenders argued that this retroactive application constituted ex post facto law, but SCOTUS held that the prohibition against ex post facto law barred only punitive actions by the state, held the registration law to be non-punitive, and consequently upheld its application to previous offenders.

To be honest, I don't really see a compelling argument which would suggest that the state has to (or should, in light of the wording of prop 8) continue to recognize the same-sex marriages which have already taken place. The wording of the amendment seems to say pretty plainly that these relationships aren't recognized or valid marriages in California.

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hobsen
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Thank you. That makes the situation much clearer.

As to the language of Proposition 8, I agree with you that it would seem to invalidate existing same-sex marriages. The legal issue is that California law allegedly has more precedents saying that a statute cannot have a retroactive application unless it specificially says that it will have that effect, as opposed to a smaller number of precedents saying that in some instances it can. Judging the weight of legal opinion in California on that seemed to me essentially hopeless for anyone but a legal scholar specializing in that area, so I decided just to avoid the issue until I saw what cases were actually cited as precedents on either side.

[ November 10, 2008, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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Star Pilot 111
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What if Catholics wanted to call themselves Jews but still practice only Catholicism?
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DonaldD
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There's no law against it. Here, let's see what happens:

I'm a Jew.

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RickyB
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"unlike you, I don't assume that Ricky's true purpose was to keep jim in good spirits. Gay couples and their families are just human shields in this whole conflict; ultimately the conflict is not really about them."

Yup, that's right. You're so important that way. That's a bully's classic whine when the surrounding people stand up for the victim: "You don't really care about him! You're only seizing on an excuse to pick on poor ole me!"

Blind Israel supporters use it all the time, too.

Jim - yes, I am counting Pete in the overall Bull Connor crowd, incidentally. That wasn't why I posted what I did, but now that he mentioned it, yes. He's very polite about it, tireless with the verbiating, but just as intolerant beneath it all.

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